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PLB kicks off its 2023-2024 Closing Season

SportsPLB kicks off its 2023-2024 Closing Season

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Jan. 17, 2024

The Premier League of Belize (PLB) kicked off its 2023-2024 Closing Season with 4 games this past weekend, 3 on Saturday night and 1 on Sunday afternoon; and already, fans are keeping an eye on the race to Concacaf, which berth will be decided between the champions of the Opening and Closing Seasons, the nod going to the winner who garners the most regular season points over the two seasons combined. Verdes FC, who have started the Closing Season with a win, finished the Opening regular season at the top of the standings, and are hoping to maintain the aggregated points lead through the end of the Closing regular season; but it all comes to naught unless they can win the season. Opening Season champions, Altitude FC are also keeping their eyes on that aggregate points tally, in which they trail Verdes by a 6-point margin. (See the Standings and Road to Concacaf totals below.) As the tally indicates, there are really only a few teams in the Concacaf race, but it will still be decided only between two champions.

At the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk on Saturday night, January 13, the visiting Benque United FC prevailed, 1-0, over home standing Progresso FC, courtesy of a second half goal from Izon Gill (70’).

Meanwhile, at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, it was also the visitors, last season’s cellar dwellers, Wagiya SC coming away with the 1-0 road win over Police United FC, the loan goal coming early from the veteran Harrison “Cafu” Roches (7’).

And in the other Saturday night encounter, at the M.A. Stadium in Independence, Opening Season finalists Altitude FC and Port Layola FC were tied at the half, 2-2; but the champs, Altitude got the late game winner for the 3-2 final score. Altitude took a 2-nil lead with goals from Andres Orozco (12’) and Rene Leslie (28’), before Port Layola replied through Latrelle Middleton (30’) and new recruit Orlando Velasquez (36’). The game winner for Altitude came from Ashton Torres (79’).

In in the Sunday afternoon clash at the Norman Broaster Stadium, Bandits Sports managed to keep the score low against Verdes FC, who only led by a 1-0 margin until near the end of the ninety, before adding 2 quick goals to come away with the 3-0 victory. Verdes got a goal apiece from Matias Veron (39’), Felix Martinez (89’) and Evral Trapp (90’).

Upcoming Week 2 schedule:

Saturday, January 20
7:30 p.m. – Altitude FC vs Verdes FC – M.A. Stadium in Independence
7:30 p.m. – Benque United FC vs Police United FC – Marshalleck Stadium
7:30 p.m. – Bandits Sports vs Progresso FC – Isidoro Beaton Stadium

Sunday, January 21
4:00 p.m. – Port Layola FC vs Wagiya SC – Marion Jones Sports Complex

Looking ahead to Week 3:

Saturday, January 27
7:30 p.m. – Police United FC vs Port Layola FC – Marshalleck Stadium
7:30 p.m. – Bandits Sports vs Benque United FC – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
7:30 p.m. – Progresso FC vs Altitude FC – People’s Stadium

Sunday, January 28
4:00 p.m. – Wagiya SC vs Verdes FC – Carl Ramos Stadium

Feature photo: Verdes FC

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